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Chorus to sing member’s work

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By Kirsten Laskey

Sometimes what makes music special goes beyond how it sounds. For Coro de Cámara, the upcoming concert features a piece that holds a particular sentiment to the group.

The concert, “Let the River Run,” which will be at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Kelly Hall at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, will include a work created by one of the chorus members, Joe Cox.

The piece is titled, “I want Jesus to Walk with Me.” It will be included in the second half of the program with other spirituals. The first half is dedicated to folk songs.

Chorus member Randy Erickson said having a composer in the chorus is a real benefit.

“It’s neat to see the artistic expertise of the composer and work through and rehearse knowing you’re doing it as the composer intended,” he said.

Cox said he wrote the piece in 2008. He described “I want Jesus to Walk with Me” as a traditional African/American spiritual.

Cox, who is also the choir director at Trinity on the Hill, said he originally wrote the song for the church choir. After the song was published, the Coro de Cámara director Catherine Robinson decided to include it in the chorus’ spring concert.

“It’s an honor to have them do one of my pieces,” Cox said, “and it’s also exciting. I enjoy hearing my work. Mostly, I hear it in the church (so) it’s nice to hear it somewhere else, too.”

Cox’s work is just one audio treat for the audience, chorus member Judy Crocker said. She described the whole program as “delightful.”

Erickson agreed.

“I think it’s interesting to do very familiar folk tunes but with new and interesting arrangements,” he said.

Additionally, since the concert is arriving just after Easter, the timing is right to perform spiritual songs.

Erickson described the songs as lively but they still had depth of meaning.

He said, “I think you’ll come away from the concert full of energy.” Erickson added that the concert is an escape from the daily routine.

Coro de Cámara is a semi-professional group. She added its members have a lot of different backgrounds.

Cox credited the director, Catherine Robinson, for her influence on the group.

“Catherine is really quite gifted,” he said. “To have a choral director of her abilities is really nice for Northern New Mexico.”

He added she changed the group’s original focus, which was Renaissance music, and baroque choral pieces “and she brought this group more into the 21st Century and into contemporary work.”

Crocker commented that they enjoy sharing the music with others.

“(It’s) great music,” she said. “We love what we do. When we sing, we’re thrilled at sharing what we sing.”

The concert is free but donations are accepted. Additionally, the concert will also be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Christ Church Santa Fe, located on Don Gaspar and Cordova Avenue in Santa Fe.